Patreon button  Steam curated reviews  Discord button  Facebook button  Twitter button 
3DS | PC | PS4 | PS5 | SWITCH | VITA | XB1 | XSX | All

The Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis) artwork

The Revenge of Shinobi (Genesis) review

"Shinobi was one of the game series that made Sega. Shinobi was originally an arcade game before being ported onto the Sega Master System in the 80's. What followed was a series of games for the Master System and also onto Sega's 16-bit console the Genesis. The Revenge of Shinobi was Mr.Mushashi's first 16-bit adventure and was definitely one of the best games on the system until the Genesis died in 1997. Once, again Sega had showed their skill at making great action games without a loud and colo..."

Shinobi was one of the game series that made Sega. Shinobi was originally an arcade game before being ported onto the Sega Master System in the 80's. What followed was a series of games for the Master System and also onto Sega's 16-bit console the Genesis. The Revenge of Shinobi was Mr.Mushashi's first 16-bit adventure and was definitely one of the best games on the system until the Genesis died in 1997. Once, again Sega had showed their skill at making great action games without a loud and colourful mascot. This game was one the Genesis’ best games and was one of the classics that made the system great like Golden Axe and Streets of Rage
The Storyline of the Revenge of Shinobi is not a complex one. The Zeed crime empire that was destroyed by Shinobi has returned and has set out killing all those who use stealth as a weapon. I guess those chickens don’t want to get their asses kicked again. They attack Shinobi's master, leaving him for dead and also kidnap his bride-to-be. With his last breath Joes Master tells Shinobi to rescue his girl and Joe sets out on a mission to rescue his love and to trash the Neo-Zeed for the second time.

The game is unlike its arcade predecessor. ROS reverts to a platform/action game rather than an arcade game. It is a platform game and basically all you have do to is get from the beginning of the stage to the end without worrying about rescuing hostages or anything except staying alive which can be relatively tricky. The only real main problem with The Revenge of Shinobi's game play is the difficulty. It is extremely difficult, one of the hardest action games I’ve played. The bad guys only take a few hits to kill but they are either fast as hell or have their weak spots covered up.
The first two levels and the first boss (an oversized samurai) are hard as nails the first time you play them but after a few shots you will probably crack it, but when you get used to it and when you know what to do then it gets reasonably easier but even after a while and even after years of playing this game you will still find it pretty tricky. Even I find it a challenge and I’ve played this game for years. One thing you will need to know is that you need to be good at timing to be good at this game. Without timing you will last about a minute in the levels believe me. Shinobi's controls are not too hard to grasp and you will soon become a ninja master after a few shots of playing it. The usual Sega way of control is used in this game. A-for magic B-for attack and C-for jump. Anyone who plays a Genesis using these controls will probably grasp this game a lot quicker than others but that is just my personal opinion but you never know, you might have different preferences.

Shinobi has four different types of magic to use on his foes. They include: Lightning, which makes Shinobi unable to take damage when he is attacked but he can only take two hits. Fire, which destroys or does damage to enemies on the screen. Explosion, that destroys everything and takes health from you and finally a double-jump that makes him jump higher and run faster. These can only be used once per level and will aid you a lot in your progress. Once used however they can’t be reused until you are killed in some way.
Enemies are very frequent on this game and most of them are characters based on oriental figures like ninjas, samurais and such. The basic oriental theme is expressed in this game quite heavily obviously and most and almost all of the enemies are related to this theme. (It would make sense wouldn't It.)? Enemies will tend to attack in groups so you will have to be on your guard nearly all the time because they will appear from left and right.
The items that you collect in the game are mainly more shurikens, Shinobi's primary weapon, power ups that make your attacks stronger, health and extra lives. These are all locked in wooden crates that you can hit to break open. Some of them have booby traps in them like bombs, which can do some serious damage to your health.
Bosses on the game can be a serious problem. They look outstanding but can be very hard if you do not know how to fight them. The first boss for example is this huge samurai with a massive sword with the classic armour. He can only be hit when he tries to hit you and he misses so you have to time it just right so you can hit him right between the eyes but just use your fire magic on the bosses when you start cause it will hit them about three or four times. Other bosses include ultra fast moving ninjas, some bizarre computer with a brain and cameo appearances from “The Terminator”, “Batman” and “Spiderman”. The bosses are bizarre but look fantastic; I mean who would have thought of crossing over superheroes onto an unrelated action game.

The game play is brilliant due to the fact that you are always moving, and despite its difficulty it is fantastic mainly because there is so many things to avoid. You always have to look out for enemies and obstacles because this game is packed with action. The only downside to it really is the difficultly because this game is rock solid and gets really hard later on.

This game uses the same kind of shading and images as Altered Beast does but with more work, therefore making the graphics a lot better than AB's. The character of Shinobi is not really given that much detail and all he looks like is a smudged blend of red and white shaped into a man but It isn’t all bad because the graphics are not the best thing in the game anyway. The sprite has awful animation and even though the game is old I think it could have been a bit better and clearer.
The enemies (excluding bosses, who I will discuss later) are really given the same amount of work with maybe a bigger pinch of detail. The evil ninjas and samurais are look a lot better than Shinobi himself and look pretty impressive for the rest of the graphical failures. Other bad guys such as the Neo-Zeed members in the club level look even better and other characters in the later levels are great. The bosses however are even better than general enemies. All of the bosses are given an impressive amount of detail and are surprisingly good considering the age of the game. The samurai boss is great and his armour looks exactly like a samurai (not like a Colorado beetle) He even changes colour to indicate his strength. The cameo bosses Spider man etc. look exactly like the comic book heroes and although still weird they are impressive. These and other bosses are given an exceptional amount of detail, which really make the graphics in this game a good achievement for the system because it is was still in its early days when this game was released. Backgrounds are also great and although some of them look a bit crummy others like the first level with the moon rising look fantastic.
The music in the game is a mix between oriental music and dance music, which seems to be a bizarre combination but they strangely blend in well. The first level has the best music in the game, as it is extremely oriental while other tunes are not so much. The rest of the music is a blend of Bruce Lee movie soundtracks and modern day dance music. I like the way this ties in but it usually sounds crap and spoils (although not much) some of the playing. Some of the tracks especially the ones entitled ''The Shinobi'' and ''Terrible Beat'' which is the boss music are absolutely fantastic. I can easily say that this game has the best music that the system has to offer; I mean just listening to the first track makes my legs quiver with joy. It’s almost impossible for anyone not to enjoy this music. The SFX are also not too bad either and the best ones from a selection would be Shinobi's cry when he uses magics and explosions. Most of the sound effects apart from the ones listed above aren’t anything special.

There we are! This game is a classic and if you like it then you should definitely get it. It's rare to buy it alone but it is easy to buy it second hand in a compilation and is also available on Sega Arcade Collection for the Sega CD along with Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, Columns and Super Monaco GP. ROS is a fantastic action game and is true classic. Buy it or download it, either way I recommend getting this game for your Mega drive because it is one the best action side-scroller games on the system.

goldenvortex's avatar
Community review by goldenvortex (June 24, 2004)

A bio for this contributor is currently unavailable, but check back soon to see if that changes. If you are the author of this review, you can update your bio from the Settings page.

More Reviews by goldenvortex [+]
Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis) artwork
Super Fantasy Zone (Genesis)

Despite being average at its core, Super Fantasy Zone certainly possesses a unique charm and pleasant aesthetics. Taking a similar structure as its predecessor, Super Fantasy Zone combines the cartoonish buoyancy of any 16-bit platform game and the fast-paced action of any other 16-bit shooter to create a creative blen...
Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 (Sega 32X) artwork
Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000 (Sega 32X)

To this day, I have no idea why I'm a 32x fan. I mean, I know the entire concept of the 32x was stupid and that the majority of the 32x game library (if you can call it a library. I think bookshelf would be a more appropriate description) was mediocre. Yet, I still have some hideous attachment to the add-on, despite no...
INXS: Make My Video (Sega CD) artwork
INXS: Make My Video (Sega CD)

Now, I’ve only played a handful of games that I’d describe as truly awful. These games were either unplayable due to horrible controls, an awful grasp of the subject matter or they were just plain boring. However, despite my exposure to these horrible titles, nothing in the world could prepare me for the sheer atrocity...


If you enjoyed this The Revenge of Shinobi review, you're encouraged to discuss it with the author and with other members of the site's community. If you don't already have an HonestGamers account, you can sign up for one in a snap. Thank you for reading!

You must be signed into an HonestGamers user account to leave feedback on this review.

User Help | Contact | Ethics | Sponsor Guide | Links

eXTReMe Tracker
© 1998-2021 HonestGamers
None of the material contained within this site may be reproduced in any conceivable fashion without permission from the author(s) of said material. This site is not sponsored or endorsed by Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Microsoft, or any other such party. The Revenge of Shinobi is a registered trademark of its copyright holder. This site makes no claim to The Revenge of Shinobi, its characters, screenshots, artwork, music, or any intellectual property contained within. Opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the opinion of site staff or sponsors. Staff and freelance reviews are typically written based on time spent with a retail review copy or review key for the game that is provided by its publisher.